Looking at a collection of Jorge Teran’s tattoos in succession, it becomes clear that he puts as much energy into establishing a distinct creative identity as he does rendering fully custom tattoos. He’s got a style steeped in the Eastern mysticism that has become a commodity in the Western wolds; the difference is the nature and raw permanence of his art honors that mysticism without exaggerating or glorifying it. Jorge builds on the connection between geometry and the human body and mind, putting everything together in a clean expression of symmetry and spirituality.
At first glance, Teran’s work could be defined as ornamental, serving to embellish the skin and please the eye with its cut edges and angles, but that’s if you don’t consider the roots of his design. Largely inspired by the South Asian emphasis on body art, Jorge’s tattoos touch on Hindu symbolism and religious figures, on Buddhist elements, and on universally defined imagery meant to represent humanity as an entity. There are mandalas, sanskrit, the hamsa hand—sacred images, immortalized.
Some of Jorge’s work has a Polynesian feel to it too, with cultural borders being blurred—but not ignored— as the artist approaches each of his pieces with a respect for its nuances, history, and place in contemporary society. Despite the historical values of his designs, Jorge’s work distinguishes him in today’s tattoo world, giving him an edge that could only come from pure innovation and a new way of interpreting the human body as a symbol.
This form of art can be considered ornamental, and on the surface, it is almost like jewelry, adorning the body like an eternal precious metal— heavy, shaded, and bold, but still fine, spilling delicately. One of his pieces, done on the top of the foot, features Tibetan waves cascading down from an anklet and ending at the tip of the toes, a perfect example of cultural influence mixed with an innate sense of how ink should move with the skin. In another, twin mandalas on the shoulders speak to his interpretation of symmetry as more than mathematical: it’s the balance, both visual and spiritual, that makes things happen.
Jorge Teran is based in Spain, where he is making a name for himself through tattoos that remain sacred while inviting us to become a part of the universal ideals they’ve come to symbolize.